Archaeological Dig Ends
The Margate Caves archaeological dig, made possible by the support of everyone who backed our Crowdfunder, is over.
Dan Thompson, our volunteer artist-in-residence on the dig, reports:
“Our two archaeologists, Dan and Jeremy, have taken local people on a remarkable journey. Today, the final act was to lift an Iron Age skeleton, found on the last day of the two-week community excavation. To lift it required a licence, so the find was kept under wraps until, paperwork in place, our 2000-year-old former Northdown Road resident could be carefully removed.
“The skeleton was a crouch burial: the body laid as if curled up and sleeping, in the bottom of a bell-shaped chalk pit. Looking up from the pit today to blue skies and seagulls above, it was easy for the years to slip away, and to be able to imagine the small Iron Age community living a rural life on this site.
“After conservation and analysis, the Margate Caves trustees will decide how to best preserve the remains, and whether to display them in the new visitor centre that’s being built on the site. That building will be open next year.
“As the archaeology ended, the Caves were re-opened today so that the underground specialists from High Peak Geotechnical could start work. That’s a big step closer to welcoming the public back to Margate’s lost attraction at No. 1 Northdown Road.”
Photo courtesy of Dan Thompson.